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Nano (Honora) Nagle, Founder of the Presentation Sisters, also known as the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM)

Nano Nagle was born in 1728, in Ballygriffin, Cork, Ireland. At the time, Catholic education was forbidden, so Nano’s parents arranged for her to leave Ireland to be educated in France.

Nano lived a privileged life, but it was here that she first became aware that many people lived in poverty.

Nano believed that education was the key to alleviating poverty. She knew that without it society could not change. On her return to Cork, Nano began to open small schools, and in 1775, she founded the Congregation of the Presentation Sisters.

The Sisters

The Presentation Story in Australia began in 1873, with the establishment of Presentation Convent Windsor.

Father Corbett, Parish Priest at St Mary’s East St Kilda, acted quickly, writing to the Presentation Convent in Ireland asking for help. It came willingly, with seven Sisters arriving in Melbourne after a three-month journey by ship. Mother Mary Paul Mulquin led her six Presentation Sisters, determined to provide Catholic education to young people.

Their work was steeped in the tradition of Nano Nagle, providing a holistic education, with great emphasis placed on Social Justice, together with the well-being of the individual and the nurturing of community. This collaboration with parents, students and teachers in a lively educational environment, continues to this day.

 

Father Corbett and the Windsor Community, 1876